EAT THIS BOOK! The ONE FOOD God Says We Should Eat Daily
Coffee With God: 5/25/2023 | Revelation 10:9-10
Why Jesus Tells Us To EAT God's Word Daily
“So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. And he said to me, “Take and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.” 10 And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter.”
Have you ever thought about God’s Word as food? What do you think would happen if you did?
All through the Bible, Scripture is depicted as being synonymous with physical sustenance. This isn’t just a New Testament idea. Even though we often think of Jesus when we think of the food/Scripture connection. He is the Living Word; the One from whom we need to draw daily if we hope to be nourished for the road God has called us to walk.
But his famous response to Satan’s temptation at the tail end of a 40-day fast was actually taken directly out of God’s instruction to Moses:
“And he [humbled] you and [let] you [hunger] and [fed] you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3).
It doesn’t end there. Not by a long shot. When the Prophet Ezekiel had a vision from Babylon, he was told by the Lord to “Eat this book” and “feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it” (Ezekiel 3:1/3).
What does it mean to eat the book? And what happens to us when we do?
To eat the book is to treat God’s Word as if it were equivalent to our physical sustenance. As if it were literally what we needed to survive each day. How long can you go without eating food? How strong would your body be if you were to stop eating for a day? A week? A month? A year?
To eat God’s Word is to consume it in the same way we consume food. In the Bible, the belly is often representative of a person’s soul. The picture offered in Ezekiel depicts the Word of God “filling his belly” and tasting “sweet as honey” in his mouth.
In other words: fill your life, your soul, with God’s Word in the same way you fill your belly with food. Consume it.
But then, during a vision had by the Apostle John, we see one of these analogies going even further. In Revelation 10, John is told, “The book… will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey.”
Why would eating God’s Word be both bitter and sweet? Why would it be both pleasant and disagreeable at the same time (the word translated “bitter” in Revelation 10:9 also means “harsh”)?
Because much of God’s Word contains what we need to hear, not just want we want to hear.
In truth, the whole Bible should have the same effect on a Spirit-filled reader as the scroll had on John in his vision. It is the sweetest thing one could possibly imagine. It is the good news of God’s redemption, mercy, grace, and love.
But it’s also a healthy diagnostic of the reality this world is facing. God is going to deal with the sin, death, and injustice that permeates this fallen world. We can choose to either be objects of His righteous wrath (which is not what He wants for us) or to become those who assist Him in mediating it.
Eating the book also shows us how divided we can be as redeemed yet sinful creatures. It has the power to cut straight to our hearts and discern our deepest thoughts and motives (Hebrews 4:12).
As is true with physical food, once you start eating the book your taste buds begin to change and adapt. Soon enough, the bitter parts become just as enjoyable as the sweet (I know some of my IPA-loving friends can relate to this).
But in order to think the way God thinks, in order to be fully prepared to walk the road He has set before you, in order to know Him as fully and deeply as He wants to be known by His children, you have to eat the book. Consuming His Word as our daily bread should be as important to a Christian as eating the food that fuels your body.
If you do, you will not only be sustained throughout the journey of life, but will find yourself being transformed into the image of the one whom you are continually feasting on. As you draw near to God through eating His Word, His truth will go down into the belly of your soul and become a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14).
Eat the book, dear friend. For in it you will find both remedies that cure the ailments of life as well as the sweetest, most delectable nourishment you could ever imagine.